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Groundhog Day: The Dangers of a Cushy Prison


I’m sure you know the movie Groundhog Day, a classic with Bill Murray as someone who goes through the same day over and over (and over) again. No matter what he does, he wakes up at 6:00 am on February 2nd to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe”, then sees “Needle Nose” Ned Reyerson and steps into a deep puddle, then reports of

Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow before getting snowed in and stuck in town.

As funny as the movie is, there are parallels in our own lives that are not quite as entertaining. We get up, eat breakfast, get the kids ready, drop the kids off, go to work, have lunch, finish up work, have dinner, then eventually go to bed. Hopefully, somewhere in there is the item on your to-do list called “Run”. For me, many times this is crammed in at lunch for a quick 30 minutes, followed by a tiny amount of stretching so I can eat something before I see my afternoon patients.

This craziness can be repeated over and over. If you’re stuck in a routine that doesn’t serve your higher purpose, then it can seem a lot like the song “Every Day is Exactly the Same” by the Nine Inch Nails. Definitely not the way you want to live.

The problem is what is called the “Cushy Prison” issue of the situation. Humans thrive on a routine and what is familiar, which is great when you are in the flow and feeling good.

However, when the routine is not serving you, you feel stressed out and like you’re running a Rat Race on a wheel. The Cushy Prison is that since it’s so familiar, even if you are in relative discomfort, it’s more comfortable than what is unfamiliar. Thus, we don’t break out of our comfort zones.

Thoreau said “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. Don’t do what most people do!! Please, I implore it! Find your soul purpose, and get into the routine that will serve you and the world.

Watch Groundhog Day: it ‘s great to watch—just don’t make it your life! Start a new running routine that incorporates mindfulness, centeredness, and love. Don’t get comfy in the prison of your routine—let your future gently pull you into your destiny.

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